Greeks get slapped with six-day working week

As one of the conditions for Greece's second bailout, the Greek people will have to rest for a minimum of 11 hours a day, get paid a single-rate minimum wage, and accept a six-day working week.

by Rebecca Burn-Callander
Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013

In a leaked letter to Greek leaders, the troika (the European Commission, ECB and IMF), is demanding that the government in Athens force the Greek public to accept a series of radical labour reforms.

The letter, revealed by The Guardian, lists a number of new labour laws that could be imposed on the Greek people in return for the second bailout. They range from increased flexibility of work schedules to help get more people back into work, a maximum working day of 13 hours to limit overtime, a single, statutory minimum wage for all, and a six-day working week.

The measures have been carefully selected to try and ease Greece's 30% unemployment rate by allowing more people to work short, frequent shifts. 'Unemployment is too high, and policies are needed to prevent it from becoming structural,' reads the letter. But the mandatory nature of the troika's demands are likely to worsen relations between the Greeks and their eurozone paymasters.

However, the Greeks don't have a whole lot of choice in the matter. The troika inspectors return to Athens this week to comb through Greece's accounts and work out if they have stood by the terms of its bailout. They will then deliver a verdict next month over whether Greece can remain in the single currency. So, if the Greeks want to stay in the euro club, it looks like they'll have to get used to a one-day weekend...

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